Anything that you do for the first time will certainly be uncomfortable and uneasy. The same thing also applies to those who are trying their hand at public speaking for the first time. You are bound to be apprehensive, nervous, and uncertain. However, if you are determined and are serious about finding the right answer to the question as to how to prepare for your first conference, then you will be able to overcome the butterflies in the stomach and will be able to do a reasonably good job of it. It is all about being able to break the ice and once you are able to do it successfully, you will not find making public speeches a problem going forward. We are happy to list down a few of the important points to be kept in mind when it comes to public speaking, especially for the first time.
BE AWARE OF YOUR AUDIENCE
This is perhaps one of the most important things that you must bear in mind when preparing to speak at a conference for the first time. You must have a reasonably good understanding of their age group, their educational qualifications, their standing in society, their areas of interest, and things that they may not be interested in. This will help you to prepare for your first speech that much better and make it more interesting and participative rather than sounding monotonous. You will be able to make the audience-friendly rather than making them hostile and making you nervous.
CONSTRUCT YOUR PRESENTATION
Most presentations these days make use of power-point. Do not be stingy when it comes to using slides. However, at the same time do not make it too big and too boring. Your objective should be to ensure that you are able to construct your presentation in an interesting and proper manner. Time your presentation while rehearsing it and ensure that there is a natural flow from one slide to another or from one topic to another. Do not abruptly jump from topic to topic because continuity is extremely important.
REHEARSE YOUR PRESENTATION
The next important thing is to make sure that you rehearse your presentation before you present it live in front of the audience. Use a mirror, or if you have a friend or mentor rehearse the presentation in front of him or her. This will help you to iron out the tough and rough areas. It also will help you to make your presentation crisp, to the point and you will always be in a position to capture the attention of the audience.
KNOW HOW TO HANDLE Q&A AND OBJECTIONS
Before you start the presentation, you could mention your readiness to answer any objections or questions and answers. However, request the audience to keep the Q&A session after the end of the presentation. This will preempt any unwanted interruptions and it will also increase your respect as far as the audience is concerned. Do not get fluttered by tough and probing questions and answer it as best as you can. Try and buttress your answer with facts and figures so that the answers are credible and do not seem out of the hat.
THE FINAL WORD
To conclude, yes speaking at a conference for the first time is tough but it has got more to do with your mind rather than anything else. If you are prepared and are able to keep your mind in control, you will be able to do a reasonably good job the first time around.